Back in November 2015, we first touched on the subject of the lack of female political leaders in existence. It all stemmed from an Elle article at the time which was floating around removing the men from famous political photos. Looking back at the article in question, it’s obvious now the topic has evolved tenfold. It’s so much more than a hashtag #MoreWomen, it’s about questioning why so many educated women fail to climb the ranks to the same heights as their male counterparts.
In an ideal world, dividing our representatives by gender alone would be rubbished. Creating gender quotas only further highlights our failure to achieve them, never really providing actionable solutions for the same.
But in 2018, women have marched their way into our newsfeeds, onto our TV screens and more than ever before, onto our ballot papers. I remember referring to the political sector as a boys club back in 2015, now it looks like it’s a woman's club - have you noticed the number of party heads in Europe who are women? Theresa May, Mary Lou McDonald, Erna Solberg, Arlene Foster, Michelle O'Neill and Nicola Sturgeon don't give a damn about your boys club.
That takes us across the water to where we will see even more elections in 2018, with even more women contesting them.
How's it looking stateside?
Google women in politics and your search engine will populate with headlines like “women's march inspired me to run”, “I wanted to provide an alternative to Trump” and even “ It’s a women’s wave coming!”. It’s no longer about simply filling a quota, it's about action, about turning assertive females from supporters to leaders.
The surge in females contesting elections will be seen more vividly on the side of the Democratic party, they will be riding the #pinkwave along with the blue. The spin-off from lauded women's marches have translated to greater political movements, for example, the official Women’s March organizers have translated this motivation into a new strategy for 2018: Power to the Polls, a nationwide voter registration drive targeting first-timers in swing states ahead of the midterms.
Grassroots mobilization is where it's beginning
Female leaders will have solidified their support from grassroots movements there is no doubt about that. This week marked the 1 year anniversary of the Women's March, which was a celebration of everything the women’s movement has done in the last year, from organizing calls to Congress to catapulting the #MeToo campaign to global attention. At the end of the day, when gender is removed from the equation, one thing is evident and that is that one person can make a significant difference in politics, it's just women spotted it in abundance this year and will make serious bids in the midterms come November.
For now here are some stats that we know for sure because Time Magazine told us so, but if we were betting people we can safely say these figures will grow and grow.
79 women are looking to run for governor in 2018
41 women are running against Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives, up almost 350 percent
29 women won seats in Virginia's House of Delegates in 2017 — a record, according to the Center for Public Integrity
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